“Steal a diamond to know one’s self”

This is a misquotation about self-knowledge, but it highlights one of many concerns I have about the “self-help” industry, for an industry indeed it is. Trying to convey some of the complexities of psychological principles, therapeutic techniques and the philosophical insights that form the mainstay of self-help can lead to dilution and distortion. Dilution occurs when we think in terms of “techniques” divorced from their underlying theoretical bases, and then necessarily separated from an understanding of their limitations. Distortion occurs when the principles are mistranslated or misunderstood, so we end up with advice such as that given at the top of the page. The original quotation from Benjamin Franklin is as follows…

“There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.”

So, this site is about self-help…..